“Adventurers” as Children (Type Seven)


The Adventurer, from "The Enneagram of Parenting" by E. Wagele

This cartoon shows an Adventurer child giving a sparkling performance, cheered on and supported. Adventurer children are usually curious, lively, charming, and have many interests. They often do best when they can pick and choose from a rich learning environment, since having many options appeals to them. Routine does not. Adventurers tend to be extraverted, sociable, and talkative, but there are exceptions. Freedom is good; boredom and restrictions are bad from their point of view. Adventurer Norris said he felt like a grasshopper in a world of ants when he was a child.

Adventurer children are usually positive, happy, optimistic, have many friends, and think well of themselves. They may sign themselves up to do too much, but they’re usually resourceful and learn fast. They like to be spontaneous.

Likely variations on this type are those who resemble the Observer type and are studious and focus well and those who resemble the Perfectionist and try to do things right. These two types are at the Adventurer’s “arrows,” the lines that radiate out from the 7th point in the Enneagram. The wings, the Questioner and the Asserter also frequently influence Adventurers, in the first case by adding a more light or jittery feeling to the personality and in the second by adding a heavier, more or definite feeling.

With this post, I will have covered all nine Enneagram styles as children in my WordPress blogs in the past six months. Often, I feature the same type as an adult the next week in my longer, alternating “Psychology Today” blog.

Reminder: Ingrid Stabb and I will give a presentation on our Wagele-Stabb Career Finder from “The Career Within You” on Saturday, July 31, at the International Enneagram Association conference in San Francisco. administration@internationalenneagram.org

We’re also hosting a party for our book at Maxfield’s in the Palace Hotel at 5:30 on the same day, to which all are welcome.

To buy “The Enneagram of Parenting”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

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Romantic-Style Children (Type 4)


Romantic children

find special

meaning where

others may not.

Six examples of where Romantic children express special meaning to their friends follow this cartoon on page 57 of my “Enneagram of Parenting” book, ending with a Romantic kid telling a friend he has noticed the expressive and poetic way his friend speaks. Romantics can be especially compassionate.

This is one of the most sensitive types of children. They often have easily hurt feelings and strong emotions. Many are interested in the arts or literature, tend to express themselves dramatically, and engage in imaginative fantasy play. Howard loved to look for treasures such as beautiful jewels, rocks, or colors when he was a child and became an artist and psychotherapist when he grew up. Beauty, ideals, and meaning were important to him.

There are more introverted than extraverted Romantic children. Franny Four, the Romantic horse in “Finding the Birthday Cake,” my book for teaching the Enneagram to children, wants to help get the cake back but she wants to do it in her own way. ”I’ll write a beautiful, fancy song,” she says, “and sing it all through the land. When the cake hears it, he will come running to me because he loves my music. After I find the cake I’ll dress up for the party in my best silk and velvet clothes. We’ll have the most special party in the world!”

Lunch box

This child from “The Happy Introvert” could easily be a Romantic type.

Be sensitive of your Romantic children’s sensitivity and treat them gently. Romantics easily feel shamed. Give them plenty of stimulation and take an interest in what they’re interested in. Remember they may have a tendency toward feeling melancholy. It can be helpful to talk with them about how they would prefer for you to react when this happens.

To buy “The Enneagram of Parenting”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

To buy “Finding the Birthday Cake”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

To buy “The Happy Introvert”: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Next week I’ll post a blog about Romantics as adults on Psychology Today’s blogs. http://bit.ly/psychtdy

Do You Have an “Asserter” Style Child? (Type 8)


In my Enneagram book for kids, “Finding the Birthday Cake,” I decided to stop by my house as we looked here and there for the missing cake:

Amy Eight was so insistent that something be done about the problem of the missing cake for the evening’s party, she said we’d have it even if she had to bake it herself! She was impatient to celebrate both the Ninosaur’s birthday and finding the cake: “We’ll have the most EXHUBERANT party in the world!” She may be tiny but she’s powerful in word and deed. Asserter children are so energetic, they may tire their care-givers out and are sometimes misunderstood or blamed wrongly.

Some of the questions in the Personality Quiz in the Asserter chapter in my

“Enneagram of Parenting” book are:

Does your child

* have a great deal of energy?

* always make his or her presence known?

* show anger or disagreement freely?

* have a fast-running motor and need down time?

* speak and act with authority?

* behave enthusiastically?

Followed by some cartoons about how protective Asserter children can be. Read also about the other eight styles of children in both books.

For more on “Finding the Birthday Cake:” http://www.wagele.com/Finding.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

For more on “The Enneagram of Parenting:” http://www.wagele.com/EnneagramParent.html

To buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

5/4/10 Please see today’s Psychology Today blog by me:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/ “How-Does-It-Feel-to Have-an Assertive-Personality-Type?” for the adult Asserter personality and a cartoon from “The Enneagram Made Easy.”

“Finding the Birthday Cake” Teaches Acceptance to Children


After I wrote “The Enneagram of Parenting,” I decided to write a book for teaching children the Enneagram. Children had been learning the Enneagram from my Enneagram of Parenting book from looking at the many cartoons, but I wanted to write a book specifically for younger children from six or younger to ten. My first dilemma was: how would kids see my drawings as representing types of people? I was afraid if I drew human characters they might resemble someone a child might know, a neighbor kid for example, which could confuse them. So I decided to use animals.

I wanted to have a mystery to keep the children’s attention, so I had the birthday cake go missing and the animals look for it in ways characteristic of their type. One example is the Romantic who sings a song that so beautifully she is sure the cake will hear it and come running to see who is making this wonderful music. A romantic idea, indeed. You can see a drawing of this dressed up Romantic horse on my Psychology Today blog of April 13, 2010: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-career-within-you/201004/peace-the-inside-out-ii

I wondered if I should have a fierce animal for the most assertive type and a gentle animal for a gentle personality. I decided to go against stereotyping, so I made a tiny goldfish represent the most assertive type. At the end of each type’s section we hear the character that represents that type say something like, “I hope we find the cake soon so we can have the most PERFECT party!” – or whatever adjective best describes its type’s idea of a great party. Freddy Five, the Observer rabbit, wants to have the most INTERESTING party in the world.

By the end of the book we have met all the characters and the mystery of the missing cake has been solved. You won’t guess what happened to the cake in a million years. It does turn up, though, so the party goes on. There’s a moral to the story, too. In addition, the Enneagram does its own magic by showing children nine different styles of behaving that are all perfectly acceptable and honored. Children will recognize themselves and friends and family in this book and they’ll notice that personality differences really do exist and that they’re okay. Even good! It’s an excellent book to use in schoolrooms and families to further the value of tolerance.

For Reviews and more information: “Finding the Birthday Cake; Helping Children Raise Their Self-esteem” http://www.wagele.com/Finding.html

Buy “Finding the Birthday Cake” now:
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“Observers” as Children (Type 5)


Drawing by E. Wagele from “The Career Within You,” by Elizabeth Wagele and Ingrid Stabb, HarperCollins.

The Glasswing Butterfly is a symbol for the sensitivity of the Observer personality. Observers aren’t all super-sensitive or delicate, but many don’t like loud noises, glaring lights, or rough clothes against their skin. Most prefer to stand back and watch what’s going on from a safe distance and most avoid conflict. Observers tend to live in their heads. They can be rich containers and synthesizers of information for the rest of us. If we’re highly extraverted, particularly, we may not notice them because they tend to be quiet. Some of them are forthcoming about their opinions, even argumentative, and bring attention to themselves. Others are shy.

In “The Enneagram of Parenting” http://www.wagele.com/EnneagramParent.html I wrote, “Observer children don’t usually care about social conventions and don’t always interact easily. They may feel awkward or different from other children. Never push them but gently invite them to join in… They’ll do almost anything to avoid unpleasantness. Some wish they could speak without thinking about it so much first. One-to-one contact is often more comfortable than being in groups.” One of my cartoons in this book is of an alien child who has just embarked from a spaceship and is looking at a bill board advertising toothpaste that says, “Use ‘SMILE!’ Impress everyone! Be noticed!” She is saying to herself, “I’m not sure I belong here.” As an Observer child myself, I didn’t relate much to “image.”

Observer children are usually good at finding things they like to do. Reading is often one of them. Some are attracted to investigating things on computers or the workings of computers. Some become scientists. Some become writers. Some are good at classifying material or mechanical things. Observer children often have an independent streak and easily feel intruded upon. Sometimes, because they don’t mind solitude, a parent worries about their social life and becomes pushy in that regard. Observers are often content with one or two good friends.

Cartoon from “The Enneagram of Parenting.”

This week (April 1, 2010) my blog on Psychology Press will be on Observers as adults, http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-career-within-you/

Raising the “Questioner” Child (Type 6)


Drawing from “The Enneagram of Parenting”

In the Enneagram system of personality, the sixth style is called the Questioner. Things don’t feel safe, as though one is at sea or rolling around on balls or wheels. Where will my greatest safety come from – a strong, brave stance or a weak “protect me” one? Whom can I trust? Is this object hollow or solid? Are you pushing me or am I pulling you? Am I safer standing on your shoulders, with you standing on mine, or with like-minded warriors both on top of me and underneath me? Is there safety in numbers or am I better of going it alone? Maybe I need to learn to scare people off before they have a chance to get me. It helps to lean on a bigger authority sometimes or to put on my boxing gloves. My mind is always whirling around with these thoughts of how to protect myself so I can be prepared for anything.

In “The Enneagram of Parenting” I don’t use the words in the paragraph you have just read. I let the cartoon speak for itself instead. In fact, I drew this cartoon about thirteen years ago and never quite put the concepts into words for myself until now. I did feel, however, that the whirling symbols seemed like the Questioner (“what if…?”) part of myself, one of my wings since I’m a 5-Observer.

For each of the nine styles of children, I drew one cartoon meant to represent the general idea of the style. This was that cartoon for the Questioner child. I hope it conveys the feeling-tone accurately enough for them and their parents and teachers to relate to it. It’s a challenge because there are many variations within each style. In this case, though, I feel it has held up well. Questioners want to know who the authority is and I think this authority is someone you can count on. He has such a strong face I think it’s okay he doesn’t have legs and it’s kind of funny he’s made out of a question mark. In fact, that’s probably a healing aspect of the cartoon. Just what a Questioner might dread the most is right here for all to see and is creating no problem at all! The authority is itself poorly balanced on a ball, not even touching it! So, at least in cartoon-land, you don’t need an anchor after all, you see? The cartoon is YOU in most of your Questioner aspects, suspended with no security, yet surviving instead of toppling over. This all wouldn’t work if it was spoken in words as I have just done. But I hope it does work as a cartoon.

Questioner children need order, predictability, and to learn to trust their inner authority. They need to learn to built confidence in themselves and in their ability to meet new situations, which means they need to be treated with patience and calmness. My book helps parents and teachers by showing learning styles and what different types need in terms of adult attitudes. Children vary a lot in their inborn traits that govern how fearful they are, their study habits, social adjustment, and so much more.

The Enneagram of Parenting by Elizabeth Wagele. HarperCollins publisher

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“Finding the Birthday Cake”


The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party

“Finding the Birthday Cake; Helping Children Raise Their Self-esteem” is a small book I wrote for children to teach them the Enneagram and provide a fun story about some animals’ adventures. The cartoon included here isn’t in the book; it’s a child’s version of the cartoon by the same name that’s in “The Enneagram Made Easy.” How fun it is to go back to childhood and start remembering the songs, nursery rhymes, and feeling of being very small compared to everyone else. Animal dolls had a special happy significance as an intermediary between children and adults. They “knew” who they were but they didn’t have an agenda for us other than to be fuzzy, scary, strong, vulnerable, or whatever we wanted them to be. As stuffed toys. They seemed to love us back but they didn’t fight us on anything. Ah, those were the days.

When I was around 4, I had a dream that helped me realize some important ways I was separate from the rest of my family and guided me to going inside and exploring art and music. As an adult, writing and drawing my dreams help me figure out some puzzles about individuals and human nature that perplexed me. I will continue to be curious about human beings as long as I live. My dream drawings provide material for some of the drawings in the books I write. So I can’t say enough about my respect for that part of ourselves that we often call the “unconscious.”